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Scottish Rural Development Plan Made Easy

It is a 1.6 billion programme of economic, environmental and social measures designed to develop rural Scotland until 2013.

What is the Scottish Rural Development Plan (SRDP)?
It is a 1.6 billion programme of economic, environmental and social measures designed to develop rural Scotland until 2013. A wide range of formerly separate support schemes are brought together covering farming, forestry and primary processing sectors, rural enterprise and business development, diversification and rural tourism, as well as support for rural communities. It is outcome-focused and primarily aims to deliver a Greener Scotland and to promote a Wealthier and Fairer' rural Scotland . It will contribute to the Government's Healthier and Smarter' objectives.

There are four main themes:

1.   To increase competitiveness in agriculture and forestry through improved business viability.

2.   To improve the environment and countryside through enhanced biodiversity & landscape, improved water quality and tackling climate change.

3.   Enhance the quality of life in rural areas through thriving rural communities.

4.   LEADER - local community funding for rural development projects.

The above measures will be delivered through:

  • Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme
  • Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Grant Scheme
  • Less Favoured Area Support Scheme
  • Skills Development Scheme
  • Rural Development Contracts Land Manager Options & Rural Priorities
  • Forestry Challenge Funds Woodlands In and Around Towns & Forests for People
  • LEADER community funding

What are the Key Messages?

  • The majority of funding (71%) comes from the Scottish Government, the remaining 29% is from the European Commission. A significant proportion of the total funding is pre-committed as an overhang from previous programmes.
  • Funding is targeted to where it will provide the greatest public benefits through adopting local solutions, with each region setting its own priorities, to deliver national outcomes.
  • The majority of the budget is delivered through non-competitive elements but a significant element of competitiveness has been introduced particularly in relation to Rural Priorities, Challenge Funds, and LEADER.
  • The range of potential applicants is widened to include community groups and non-land based sectors of the rural economy.
  • Applications to competitive funds will be assessed locally and a two stage application process, supported by a named case officer, has been introduced. Thirteen Scottish areas have established their own RPAC (Regional Proposal Assessment Committee) for Land Management Contracts and a LAG (Local Action Group) for LEADER. Assessment criteria will be transparent and based around contribution to regional priorities/strategy', Value for Money', and Management of Risk'. Expenditure must be claimed within the financial year that it is contracted.
  • >Applicants must be registered as a business with the Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspectorate Division (SGRPID). Land Owners and farmers need to apply for a Business Registration Number (BRN). Eligible land must be IACS registered.
  • Scale and co-operation between landowners will have a significant influence on the attainment of outcomes and sustainability in relation to environmental impacts. Applications should aim to contribute to multiple outcomes and demonstrate substantial public benefits.

How CKD Galbraith can assist?
CKD Galbraith has a dedicated rural team which has recently been strengthened with the appointment of Tommy Loudon who specialises in submitting Rural Priorities applications (RPAC's) which form part of the Rural Development Contracts. 

The next sitting of the RPACs will be November 2009 for contracts starting in 2010. At the moment funding for agri-environment and capital schemes within Rural Priorities is very competitive with the money favouring joint applications and schemes with SSSIs (site of special scientific interest). So if you are thinking of applying for SRDP money now is the time to put in your Statement of Intent which will be assessed for the RPAC rounds in 2010.

If you are looking for advice then please contact Tommy Loudon on 01292 292534 or tommy.loudon@ckdgalbraith.co.uk